Imagine politicians in the coming months offering various pieces of legislation to accomplish the following:
- Provide healthcare for everyone costing no more than what has already been authorized
- Connect everyone to a financial institution
- Relieve Healthcare providers of credit risk
- Eliminate the vast majority of Medical Paperwork
- Allow medical providers to concentrate on medicine
- Increase mobility of our citizens
- Provide easy comparison of potential employers’ compensation offers
- Level the playing field for attracting employees between Large and small business
- Give workers more leverage in dealing with employers
- Put US employers on the same cost basis as Foreign Companies with National Healthcare
- Bring all people into the our Capitalist system from birth
- Provide everyone with foolproof ID
- Eliminate the employment of illegal emigrants
- Introduce competition in every phase of healthcare
- Allow for the widest latitude for innovation in all things medical
- Increase national savings
- Improve everyone’s retirement prospects
Sounds like a Paul Ryan type legislative agenda or a Party Platform. The truth is this is all done with one bill creating Personal Benefits Accounts (PBA) for everyone. We introduced this concept in Dave’s Plan to Reform the Affordable Care Act back on October 18,2014. The whole series can be accessed under Dave’s Healthcare Plan. Foreseeing the ultimate failure of Affordable Care Act (ACA) we put forth a plan reuniting healthcare and savings in a workable plan. We have come to realize PBA could provide an underpinning for all individuals to enhance their lives. Ultimately, isn’t this Government’s primary function?
The first thing the PBA provides is Healthcare for everyone. It calls for non cancel-able no limit catastrophic insurance policy paid for out of and is part the account. Bought across state lines individually or in a group and if a family plan can cover children till age 26. This would be available to all presently healthy people. Those with pre-existing conditions would be relegated to State run high risk pools, subsidized by the Government investment account mandatory for up to $10,000(adjusted for inflation) maintained in the PBA. We leave it to the states as the laboratories of innovation to come up with the best ways to administer the pools. In any case this will be a disappearing group over time. All this allows (and through competition force) insurance companies to offer policies at the lowest cost. The low-cost policies allow the savings account to grow through the 10 to 22% contributions from earnings, ACA subsidies and Medicaid. The savings portion is used to pay for healthcare up to were the catastrophic policy kicks in.
Most people already have retirement accounts and some have medical savings accounts at a financial institutions. These would be consolidated into the individual PBAs. However, for some this will be a new experience. With its associated medical credit card all people will be attached to our actual financial system.
Just as Medical Providers accept credit cards for copays without worries, medical charge cards would relieve them of credit problems. This would allow for all sorts of credit arrangement to fit individual circumstances.Less credit risk should lead to lower prices.
Along the same lines, the vast majority paperwork needed for insurance and government reimbursement would simply be eliminated which again should lead to lower prices.
With most transactions taking place directly between patients and providers,doctors can get back to practicing medicine rather than contending with a mountain rules and paperwork. We can hope medicine as a profession will regain its old allure. Maybe doctors will stop telling their children to look past medicine for their future. The consolidation in the medical field hasn’t improved practice or cost . Remember, consolidation is done in hopes of raising profits, not to help consumers pocketbooks.
Often medical insurance acts as a leash tying people to an employer or location. We know people leave an employer or location mainly to better their circumstances. Conversely, the fear of losing medical coverage may keep people from taking advantage of better opportunities. The PBA is yours personally and goes with you to any other employer or location giving people increased mobility.
With Employers not providing major benefits, prospective employees could easily compare offers. Without medical costs, competition should make those pay offers richer.
Without the tax and size advantage in providing healthcare, small business and self employment would be on a level with big business. This should aid in new business formation which in turn is the main source of increased employment.
Even if you don’t want to leave your present employer, just having an easier path to leaving puts you in a much better bargaining position.
Employers in countries where healthcare is a national expense rather than provided by employers have a cost advantage over their US competitors. The PBA does away with this improving our competitiveness. Just getting rid of the paperwork would lower costs.
Our economy is organized around our capitalistic system, yet a great number of people feel unattached to it. Some argue our schools teach more about socialism than capitalism. With everyone having a PBA ultimately invested in the system, interest and need for knowledge of it wouldn’t be an issue. Having your own money is involved gets one’s attention. This will only add to people’s ability to succeed.
With the vast amounts involved in healthcare, the medical credit card will have to as foolproof as possible. Picture, thumb print or whatever is best. Obviously, this would also make the card a great ID. Whether getting on an airplane or registering to vote everyone would have a way to prove they are who they say they are. We never wanted a National ID Card but Social Security didn’t set out to provide an all-purpose ID but it just worked out that way. This would be far better and therefore bound to used as an ID.
This leads to an interesting circumstance. Citizens and legal residents would have PBAs with its medical credit card,the ultimate ID. Legal residents would have to be identified for the simple reason they may want to go home and have the ability to take their savings with them. The PBAs would have to be updated with that possibility in mind. Proof of legal residency would have to be maintained. This means people without the card could be barred for employment. In effect E-Verify on steroids. If you can’t work or get medical care, would you really come? We doubt it. However, what of the illegals here already. Well, if this forces us to face up to tackling our immigration problems, we say Hooray! There would be no wave of new illegals if they knew they couldn’t get work and any medical care would be their last in this country. A big roadblock to compromise would be eliminated. Fairly settling this divisive issue could only be a positive for the country. If this forces it,so much the better.
Is there anyone who denies more competition in any area lowers costs? It’s our system in action. Let it work in this high cost area. We have Minit Clinics already, but they and other providers would find it much easier to operate.
A mass market wide open to innovation will bring services and convenience we can’t even presently imagine. We know from economic history, if wide open competition doesn’t bring superior Medical Services at a better price, nothing will. Whether it’s Lasik or cosmetic surgery, procedures paid for directly have a much more favorable cost history than general medicine. There is no reason to doubt similar outcomes in an open medical market.
At 4.9% Americans are among the worst savers in the world. Other poor saving countries are also considering mandatory savings. People with a positive a net worth are more geographically and upwardly mobile. We already compel social security payments and mandate medical care. Other than having you buy a catastrophic Health insurance of your choice,.the mandatory feature of the PBA at least doesn’t take your money and give it someone else. It’s your money. What we have done is provide everyone with an account to easily start and maintain savings. We take citizens money to provide everyone with an education because everyone needs it to have a chance in life. We should look at a PBA also as a way to improve our people’s prospects in life.
We know the earlier you start consistently saving the better off you’ll be in the future. Who wants to look forward to a retirement with little resources. Even before that, savings can allow you to do things you determine will make your life better.
In achieving all these benefits, we really haven’t come up with anything new. Retirement plans, Investment Accounts, Health Savings Accounts. the IRS,subsidies, Medicaid and credit cards all exist. All we have done is consolidate them into a workable package. The Government expends no more money than is presently authorized. People only save for their own benefit and health. We thinks PBAs will result in lower medical costs and a more prosperous populous. Unlike our other major programs,the PBAs grow stronger with each passing day. The need for government subsidy for preexisting conditions decreases daily as people go on medicare or pass away. Credit worthiness grows as the PBAs grow. Finally, people’s well-being increases as their PBAs grow.
Now that it’s certain the ACA has to be revised or collapse, just crying “repeal and replace”is meaningless without a better plan. The PBA should be considered as a logical alternative. You can’t divorce healthcare from personal finances and hope to have a cost-effective system. Take a look and see if you don’t agree.